This issue of Word&Way is different than any we have ever produced in our 113 years of history. Every page is in full color. Color throughout the newspaper is our new norm, beginning with this issue.
Our staff has been in transition for several weeks. We have anticipated a move from using the printing and mailing services of one company — Tribune Publishing in Columbia — to beginning a new relationship with Central Missouri Newspapers, Inc., associated with the News Tribune newspaper in Jefferson City.
Word&Way had been a customer of Tribune Publishing for 20 years. The printing relationship began in July 1989, and the newspaper immediately began using spot color (usually a single color) regularly on its front page and in its center two pages. Occasionally Word&Way sprang for full color to use color photography and color graphics, usually near holidays like Christmas and Easter and in special missions sections.
A major redesign of Word&Way brought full color to the front and back pages and center spread of every issue of the newspaper beginning in October 1998. That enabled color photography and color advertising. Through such transitions, the folks at Tribune Publishing held our hands and provided the training and assistance needed to move to each new level.
More than 10 years ago, we moved the labeling and mailing of Word&Way from being an in-house function to a service contracted from Tribune Publishing.
Our staff has forged close relationships with the sales, service and pre-press staffers at Tribune, and we will miss the regular contact. They looked over our work exactly like we hoped they would, often spotting mistakes we overlooked, usually before the presses started running. Staffers in their mailing area were allies when we needed to solve problems related to poor postal delivery from time to time.
All of that makes our move bittersweet. We tip our hats to our friends at Tribune Publishing and certainly wish the best for each of them and the company they serve.
Our decision to give our business to Central Missouri Newspapers, Inc., came on the heals of competitive bidding ultimately involving four Missouri publishing firms.
Ironically, the firm that is now handling our business is the one we left 20 years ago. At that time, Word&Way had a significantly higher number of churches using our personalized back-page newsletter service. The Jefferson City company wasn’t able to handle the logistics required to support that process, and Tribune Publishing in Columbia was.
A significant selling point for our new printer is the ability for us to present every page in color. Thumb through these pages and you will see the difference it makes. We will be adjusting to this new look and expect to improve the attractiveness and readability of Word&Way steadily as we move forward.
By making this move, Word&Way also acquired another capability that we have never had before. Churches may still run personalized newsletter pages on our back cover, but now they are not limited to black and white. They can design, and we can produce, their pages in full color.
This very affordable church-page option will offer significant opportunities for churches to provide Word&Way subscriptions to members and package their own well-designed and colorful newsletters with the paper. This program conserves church staff time and effort, and congregational expense.
We hope you will let us know what you think of this next-generation version of Word&Way. We hope you also will pass along the word to friends who perhaps haven’t noticed what Word&Way is up to these days.
What hasn’t changed are our purpose, mission, vision and stated values. We exist to glorify God. Our mission is to accurately inform Baptists and others of relevant news, promote the work of Christ and encourage inspirational living. Our vision is to be the preferred source of Kingdom information in our state. And our stated values are integrity, accuracy, freedom, excellence, truth, responsibility and service.
Our staff and trustees believe what we do is important. These latest improvements underscore our commitment to make our ministry of information the very best it can be.
Bill Webb is editor of Word&Way.